By Sriyantha Perera - Settlor, Rainforest Protectors Trust
Incidents of deforestation significantly increased during the last several months throughout Sri Lanka despite the Government pledge to protect the environment. Due to protests by environmentalists and concerned citizens, the Government scrapped plans to distribute (for agri / commercial purposes) approximately 500,000 hectares of forest land belonging to the State. However, threats to the World Heritage Sinharaja Rainforest continued with the widening (upto 20 feet) and expansion (upto 18km) of a road that was once a small foot path through the forest till the early 90s. Environmentalists believe this would be the beginning of increased encroachment and conversion of forest into tea plantations and urbanization. It is clear that we cannot rely on the Government to protect the rainforests, thus the effort to purchase and permanently protect privately held forest lands bordering the World Heritage Sinharaja Rainforest is more important than ever.
Rainforest Protectors Trust has identified several parcels of unprotected forest lands suitable for conservation in the area. To date, we have protected 2 parcels of forest lands rich in biodiversity, one adjoining a river and the other adjoining a stream. However, lack of funds are preventing us from purchasing additional private forest lands that are currently on sale and in danger of being clearcut. Therefore, we urge you to consider making a monthly recurring donation to our GlobalGiving Project even if it is for a small amount. All donations go directly towards purchasing suitable lands for conservation.
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